translated by Manik Bajracharya
in collaboration with
Created: 2019-06-19; Last modified: 2020-04-30
For the metadata of the document, click here
Date: Saturday, the 4th of the bright fortnight of the first Āṣāḍha.2
We have issued [this set of] directives concerning tasks to be carried out at different locations west of Dharmathalī and east of the Jamunā [River]. When carrying out the tasks mentioned in the directives, be true to our salt and perform the assigned duties promptly without showing favouritism to anyone.
First directive: We [previously] issued a royal order (mohara), stating: "In accordance with [earlier] moharas concerning the establishment of hulāka-posts for the transport of mail [within the area] west of Dharmathalī and east of the Bherī [River], inspect thoroughly whether [the hulāka-posts] are present or not. Exempt hulākī porters specified in earlier moharas from half of the sāune-phāgu [levy], beṭha and begāra [labour obligations], and from the sermā [levy] on homesteads. Do not confiscate paddy fields or any fields being cultivated by hulākīs under the adhiyā [system of tenancy]." We have made arrangements so that from the year [VS 18]66 (1809 CE), they are exempt from [the remaining] half of the sāune-phāgu [levy], and so that each household may earn ...4 murīs from paddy fields [cultivated under] the adhiyā [system]. Draft a rukkā in accordance with this and dispatch it to us together with the earlier mohara. We will send [it back to you] after affixing the royal seal (mohara) --- 1.
Second directive: Conforming to the [allocated] sums (rakama) and land mentioned in earlier moharas for those who operate the mail-transporting hulāka-posts west of Dharmathalī and east of the Bherī [River], and in accordance with this year's arrangements (bandeja), prepare an estimate (vājakhāma) of required sums. Draft a rukkā accordingly and send it to us together with the earlier moharas. We will send [it back to you] after affixing the royal seal --- 2.
Third directive: Put in shape the main routes at the different places west of Dharmathalī and east of the Bherī [River], and in order to transport loads [of goods] set up 4 hulāka-posts along the route over a distance of each day's journey. Assign 20 families to each hulāka-post. [The king] has exempted the load-transporting hulākīs employed at different places from the following [obligations and levies]: sāune-phāgu, ughāunī-paghāunī, jhārā, beṭha and begāra. Prepare an estimate and put things in order. Draft a rukkā and send it to us.
We will send it [back to you] after affixing the royal seal --- 3.
Fourth directive: Regarding the carrying of loads, excluding loads going from or coming from the west relating to military activity or to sick persons, do not, without seeing a lālamohara or a document signed by Kājī Bhīṃsīṃ Thāpā with an order to transport loads, carry anyone else's loads including those of [guru-]priests, cautarīyās, kājīs, sardāras, subbās, subedāras, jmādāras, sipāhīs, or [members] of the four caste-classes (varṇa) and thirty-six castes (jāta). If someone has loads transported, falsely stating that the loads belong to the palace, detain the man along with his luggage and report [the matter] to us. Instruct everyone to act as ordered --- 4.
Fifth directive: [The king] has issued a [lāla]mohara to the bhārā[dāra]s, subbās, subedāras and so on of various offices, proclaiming: "If anyone in disregard of the arrangements made [by us] regarding the mail-transporting kāgatyā-hulākīs or the load-transporting hulākīs coerces or causes injustice to them, detain that man and report [the matter] to us."
For that reason relay this information to the [following] places, [responsible for
the following regions]:
Pokhara: [for the region] west of the Marsyāṅdī and east of the Kālī
Pyuthana: [for the region] west of the Kālī and east of the Sakhi
Salyan: [for the region] west of the Sakhi and east of the Bherī
Dullu [of] Dailekh: [for the region] west of the Bherī and east of the Karṇālī
Achham: [for the region] west of the Karṇālī and east of Kāḍhā Gāũ (Doti)
Dipayal [of] Doti: [for the region] west of Kāḍhā Gāũ (Doti) and east of the Mahākālī5
Almora: [for the region] west of the Mahākālī and east of the border with Garh
Srinagar: [for the region] west of the border with Kumaun and east of the Bhāgīrathī
Dun: [for the region] west of the Bhāgīrathī and east of the Jamunā --- 5.
Sixth directive: Check whether or not forts and fortresses have been built at various places. Find out whether they are properly manned.
If they have not been built or are in disrepair, apply pressure to have them built or repaired. Send a report about this to us --- 6.
Seventh directive: Inspect the river crossings (tāraghāṭa). At places where they are broken down or need to be repaired, admonish the local bhārādāras or amālīdāras to have them repaired. Send [us] details of whether they have been repaired or not --- 7.
Eighth directive: Send an exact report regarding the number of bhārādāras, subbās, subedāras etc. from place to place along with [the number of] men of high and low rank, and the kinds of arrangements (tadbir) they have [among themselves] --- 8.
Ninth directive: Check from place to place whether or not factories at powder houses and magazines are functioning at full capacity. Send to us a report of the work done—the guns and gunpowder produced—and information on the number of workers and artisans and their castes --- 9.
Tenth directive: Submit reports to us regarding the amount of munitions (khajānā) sent to the front (muhuḍā) from Pyuthana and Kumaun, and where and for what reasons munitions sent to the front from here (i.e., Kathmandu), Pyuthana and Kumaun get obstructed. Wherever munitions are obstructed, admonish the local bhārādāras, subbās, subedārās, segutā6 and amālīs to have them moved on quickly --- 10.
Eleventh directive: At villages at places along the [hulāka] route which are deserted due to oppression caused by passersby, solace tenants from the villages and have them [re]settled there. Have bhārādāras, [military] companies and amālīs of the various places informed of our order: "Except for those travelling on palace business or by our orders, people travelling through villages on the route shall not be allowed to cause trouble [to villagers] by having them carry loads for free (begārī), or by demanding free provisions (baikara)." Get a report of action taken according to this regulation,
keep one copy for yourself, and send another copy to us --- 11.
Twelfth directive: Take attendance at [military] companies at different places. When doing so, collect from the bhārādāra or subedāra on duty whatever [revenue] has not been paid up in companies …7 in accordance with raibandī [system], at the rate of 25 rupees per kheta --- 12.
Thirteenth directive: If mail and military supplies [including] cannons, guns, bullets, flint and gunpowder dispatched from the palace or coming from the front are obstructed, the person exercising jurisdiction over the place shall punish the obstructer --- 13.
Fourteenth directive: When providing paddy fields to hulākī households on an adhiyā [tenure basis], distribute them in the presence of the [local] amālī: [to each household] land between forty muris and one kheta (i.e., 100 murīs) according to the size of the family. It is stated in the [above] directive that for a distance of one day's journey there should be four hulāka-posts for transportation of loads.
Therefore, after checking the remoteness of the terrain, and estimating according to whether long or short rest stops [are necessary,] establish between two and four hulāka-posts for a one day's journey. Prepare a rukkā accordingly and send it to us. We will send [it back to you] after affixing the royal seal --- 14.
Fifteenth directive: Regarding the official amount under exemptions granted to the mail- and load-transporting hulākīs, some of it has already been compensated to the amālīs of the corresponding areas. Regarding newly appointed hulākīs at different places and the amounts deducted [for them] from [the amālīs's] emoluments (khāngī), send us details of the amounts. We will make arrangements [accordingly] --- 15.
Sixteenth directive: When making arrangements for mail-transporting hulāka-posts, prepare [a draft of] a rukkā granting a maximum exemption of one rupee per household from the sermā [levy]. We will send [it back to you] after affixing the royal seal --- 16.
The date is valid. The 4th of the bright fortnight of Āṣāḍha in [the Vikrama era year] 1866 (1809 CE).
This copy of an order issued by King Gīrvāṇayuddha to subedāras Balabhadra Khatrī and Dharmānanda Khavāsa consists of sixteen directives concerning the management of the hulāka for relaying mail and loads in the western part of Nepal.
The first directive completely exempts mail-transporting hulākīs from the sāune-phāgu levy. It mentions earlier royal orders regarding the establishment of hulāka-posts along the route.8 . In this and several of the following directives, the addressees are asked to compose drafts of rukkās, which then would be officialized at the palace by affixing the royal seal.
The third directive concerns load-transporting hulākīs. It instructs that four hulāka-posts be set up within the distance covered by a day’s journey, and that twenty hulākī families should be assigned to each post. These hulākīs are exempted from the same levies as cancelled for the mail-transporting hulākīs, with the exception of ughāunī-paghāunī replacing sermā.
The fourth directive limits the categories of loads allowed to be transported to ones relating to: military activity, sick persons and a written order from either the king or Kājī Bhīmasena Thāpā
The fifth directive names nine regional offices as responsible for the organization of the hulāka system. Directives six and seven order the maintenance of forts and river crossings, while directive eight orders that records of army men at the different camps be kept. Directives nine and ten call for inspecting ammunition factories, and keeping records of transfers of munitions between the areas.
The eleventh directive is concerned with preventing the misuse of hulākī labour. Labour exploitation of the tenants appointed to hulāka tasks was common, so that the palace had to issue a plethora of orders at different times to prevent it. The exploitation in some places was so harsh that some villages along routes had become desolate. This section instructs the addressees to encourage tenants to resettle such villages, and prohibits people from using hulākī labour to transport any private loads.
The fourteenth directive states that the transfer of land to hulākīs for their service should be done in the presence of the local amālīdāra. This section refines the third directive by stating that between two and four hulāka-posts be set up to cover a day’s journey, depending on the terrain.
The fifteenth directive documents that the government occasionally provided compensation to local amālīdāras for amounts exempted from taxes and levies bourne by hulākīs.
The sixteenth directive exempts the hulākīs from one rupee of sermā levy. This, however, seems to contradict with the first directive where the sermā is entirely exempted.
In the wake of war with the British, such hulāka routes were organized for eastern part of Nepal and other places as well (see RRC vol. 41, no 533, p. 514, RRC vol. 41, no. 538, p. 517 and RRC vol. 41, no. 569, pp 556-561).